Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Cultural Wars: a little balance.

There are signs of life on the cultural wars’ losing side. First, Jon Stewart is leaving “The Daily Show” in August. There is only one Jon Stewart. He is truly funny, funny enough to have won 19 Emmys, to have hosted the Oscars twice, and to have become the highest-paid late night comedy host. He will still be around, but losing Stewart’s daily “fake news” spot does cut the left’s cultural fire power. 

“Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda
Second, as conservative Peggy Noonan noted, the hip-hop musical “Hamilton” is an off-Broadway smash headed for the Great White Way. Broadway is the heart of left-wing culture, far more predictably left than Hollywood. So to have a politically-incorrect celebration of America’s founding succeed is a phenomenon truly worth noting.

Third, John Sides, in the liberal Washington Post, has written that “it’s both premature and an over-generalization to conclude that, somehow, the ‘culture war’ favors Democrats.” Sides states this over-simplification is based primarily on shifting sentiment, especially among the young, toward same sex marriage.

To make his point, Sides quotes the latest Washington Post poll, which found that Democrats are united 70% to 26% in favor of gay marriage while Republicans are opposed 54% to 40% on an issue that’s fast swinging toward that Democratic majority.

Yet on other issues, Republicans are more united. And independents can be close to siding with the GOP.

Republicans are more linked to religious freedom than Democrats aren't, according to Pew. By a 68%/28% majority, Republicans favor allowing businesses to refuse to provide services to same-sex weddings on religious grounds, while Democrats, by a closer 64%/33% margin, would force the religiously-guided businesses to provide the services. Independents split 51%/45% in favor of mandating the services.

And a Gallup poll found Republicans more united behind “pro life” (68%/27%) than are Democrats behind “pro choice” (62%/32%). On abortion, Gallup reported the country as a whole has been fairly evenly divided since “pro life” caught up with “pro choice” in 2002. Last year, it was at 47%/46% “pro choice.”

Abortion is the most significant cultural issue shifting away from the left. More and more are digesting facts such as those conservative Mollie Hemingway wrote about in the webjournal “Federalist:”
unborn children being operated on in the womb receive anesthesia and are treated as patients and yet unborn children at the same age can be killed without any anesthesia administered for their pain. . . only seven countries permit elective abortion as late as the United States does . . . two of those countries are human rights abusers China and North Korea.
Napp Nazworth, in the conservative “Christian Post,” writes:
The Democratic Party supports legal abortion until the baby is born, according to Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. When asked if abortion should be legal until the moment of birth, she answered that the decision should be left to the mom and her doctor, adding, "Period. End of story."
According to a January Marist poll, the position that Wasserman Schultz claims for the Democratic Party is not supported by the vast majority of Americans [--] 84% support restricting abortion to some combination of the first trimester or only cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.
Gay marriage is helping Democrats over Republicans, but abortion may no longer work for Democrats.

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